The famed Grand Central Oyster Bar — a staple of the historic Midtown train terminal — will begin dishing out seafood once again next week, following a year-and-a-half shutdown due to coronavirus pandemic.
Mayor Bill de Blasio and the restaurant’s top chef, Sandy Ingber, touted the Sept. 20 reopening during City Hall’s daily press briefing as yet more evidence the Big Apple’s vaccination campaign and passport program are slowly allowing life to return to normal.
“The Oyster Bar’s been there for over 100 years — as long as Grand Central has been there, the Oyster Bar’s been there,” Hizzoner told reporters, calling the institution “one of the authentic New York City places to experience, great food, great atmosphere, great history.”
Ingber said that the restaurant will reopen at 100 percent capacity and that patrons will have show proof they’ve received at least one shot of the coronavirus vaccine to be seated under the city’s ‘Key to New York’ vaccine passport program.
For decades, the Oyster Bar’s position at the heart of Grand Central — the main terminal for the Metro-North Railroad and the 42nd Street stop for the Lexington Avenue subway — proved lucrative, making it an easy stop for commuters, locals and tourists alike.
But its business was crushed when the pandemic forced workers home and kept tourists home.
Honchos at the famed establishment initially tried to restart operations last fall, but quickly aborted the effort after less than two weeks as pre-vaccine social distancing rules capped indoor capacity at just 25 percent — and its customer base remained stuck at home.
“We are thrilled to be reopening,” Ingber said. “The vaccine is our lifeline out of the pandemic and the best way to prevent further shutdowns.”